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10 Heart-Healthy Valentine's Day Gifts

10 Heart-Healthy Valentine's Day Gifts
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Sunday, 11 February 2018 10:19 AM

Your sweetheart may have the key to your heart, but eating healthy and being physically active can provide the real key to a healthy heart. That’s why it’s important to select a Valentine’s gift that will help your loved one reap the benefits long after the day is over.

“While it’s very romantic to present your loved one with flowers and candy, you can also give the gift of good health,” notes Dr. Kevin Campbell, a top ranked cardiologist from Raleigh, North Carolina. “Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to focus on heart healthy options for both of you.”

Here some suggestions:

Plan a heart-healthy date. Spending quality time with your loved ones is a wonderful way to show you care. Plan an active outing like skating, sledding or simply taking a long romantic walk. Try to make this a regular part of your lifestyle, aiming for 150 minutes weekly of physical activity.

Dine at home. Prepare a romantic, candlelight dinner at home focusing on lean protein, fresh green vegetables, heart healthy fiber and of course, a glass of red wine! Strawberries dipped in chocolate make a sexy but heart-healthy finale to the meal.

Sharing is caring. If you chose to eat out to celebrate the date, try sharing an appetizer, main entrée and dessert. Splitting portions is an excellent way to trim calories and fat.

Design or order a fruit basket. Many companies offer tempting and tasty fruit baskets but you can make your own by visiting the fresh market and filling a lovely basket with your personal favorite fruits. Top with a red bow and a Valentine’s Day card and you are done.

Buy a yoga mat. Even if your loved one is a seasoned yogini, having a personalized mat provides motivation. Yoga is a proven way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation, says Campbell. If your Valentine has never tried the practice, this gift may be the ticket to give yoga a try.

Go for herbal teas. “Sipping herbal, caffeine free tea can give your loved one a respite from the busy world,” Campbell tells Newsmax. “Teas have been shown to improve cognition, increase relaxation and improve mood. A gift basket of carefully selected teas can be a healthy alternative to candy and flowers.”

Try a fitness class. Purchase a class pass for two to a nearby fitness club so that you and your loved one can try out new exercise classes. “Exercise is critical to health,” notes Campbell. “The obesity epidemic is rampant, affecting a whopping 35 percent of Americans. Help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease by promoting fitness and exercise with your gift.”

Choose chocolate. Dark chocolate does have proven heart healthy benefits so if your do receive a box, take it slow by putting the chocolate in the freezer and enjoy in moderation over the next several weeks.

Try a fitness tracker. Help your loved one stay on track with a Fitbit fitness watch or a KardiaBand. Fitbits are designed to help monitor your exercise, sleep and eating patterns to give you instant feedback on your progress. The newly FDA approved KardiaBand not only tracks your heart rhythm, minute to minute and beat to beat, but can also trace an EKG — right on your wrist. “Making sure that we better understand and monitor our health statistics has been shown to improve outcomes,” says Campbell.

Spa packages. One of the most relaxing and healthy gifts you can lavish on your loved one is the gift of a spa vacation. Massage, facials, manicures and pedicures contribute to one's overall sense of well-being. The art of massage has also proven health benefits and helps manage stress. Many spas offer packages that include a selection of services for a package price—and they may include lunch!

Another gift option: Rather than tempt your beloved with sweets, consider a gift that lasts forever. Search for a poem that expressed your heartfelt feelings and write it by hand on beautiful paper. You can also visit www.ShopHeart.org for red-hot gift ideas that benefit the American Heart Association.

© 2019 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

   
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Chocolates are the traditional gift from the heart on Valentine's Day. And while the sweet dark stuff is good for the heart, health experts suggest a handful of other gifts can make your loved one’s heart beat faster, and stronger.
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2018-19-11
Sunday, 11 February 2018 10:19 AM
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